What’s the news today? | Friday, March 25, 2022

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As we head into the weekend, be sure to catch up on the latest news.

From the new McFarlane Ag paver to drought conditions in the Corn Belt, here’s a roundup.

machinery and technology

Editor Alex Gray talks about the McFarlane Ag floor paver with new vertical sweeping blades.

McFarlane Ag’s Finalizer Soil Paver is a secondary tillage tool for spring planting that promotes better water filtration and root growth and also helps manage residue and weed pressure.

“As herbicide-resistant weeds become more difficult, mechanical weed management remains one of the most effective strategies for growers,” said Stan McFarlane, vice president of McFarlane Ag.

Ryan Pieper answers questions about Topcon’s technology posed by lawmakers and tourists during the National Day of Agriculture celebration in Washington, D.C.

“Some questions are fundamental and some are, ‘What does this have to do with the environment and how does this make farmers more efficient?'” Pieper says.

Available for nearly three decades, variable rate technology began with lime and fertilizer applications as farmers strived to make their operations more sustainable.

“As variable rate capabilities were incorporated into machines and cloud platforms became available, the steps to get the technology, create prescriptions, and then push the prescriptions to the machine were greatly simplified, allowing more producers and those who provide the service to benefit,” says John Fulton of Ohio State University Extension.

Hot topics

Kansas has seen a big improvement in drought conditions this week, with 21% more of its land area reporting no drier conditions than last week, concentrated in the eastern half of the state.

John Holman, professor of cropping systems and agronomy at Kansas State University, says Kansas is at about 60 to 70 percent of normal humidity, thanks to widespread rainfall in March. Several months without precipitation left the state below normal.

Drought conditions in other states are covered in this report by editor Madelyn Ostendorf.

Editor-in-Chief Natalina Bausch shares an entry from her “Reporter’s Notebook” on National Agriculture Day in Washington, DC

She writes: “I was thrilled when I spotted Xaver. I got to see it last fall in Wisconsin, but Ag Day was the robot’s first public appearance. Rawley Hicks shot some short videos with me to explain the concept. I can’t wait to see what our farmer readers think. The kids who stopped while I was packing up my gear seemed fascinated. I overheard a few members of Congress taking turns controlling the technology from a cell phone.

Global food shortages are a real possibility in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Biden told reporters during a meeting with allies in Brussels on Thursday. Western leaders, including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, joined Biden in saying they would step up their hunger programs and encourage their farmers to produce more food.

“Yes, we talked about food shortages. And it’s going to be real,” Biden said at a press conference.

What has happened in agriculture on March 25 over the years?

Editor-in-chief Natalina Bausch provides insight into several events that happened on this day between 2 and 108 years ago.

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